Questions of God -- Part 1
Two Questions from the Old Testament
John Wright Follette

I greet you again this morning in the lovely name of our Lord, and I trust that this may be true, that as we expose our hearts to Him and open to Him, He will find the access that He wants to find. God is seeking us. Sometimes we think we're seeking God, but God is seeking us. He has been seeking us from the day He sought Adam, and He has never been yet satisfied. The eternal attitude of God toward humanity is that of a seeking God

As you advance in God, as you move on in Him, isn't it wonderful how the Holy Spirit can keep projecting before us unexplored territory in life that we have yet to move into over which He seeks dominion. We say He reigns and rules in our heart; that is very true, but has He found the absolute and perfect control and possession of all the territories - I call them territories yet to be possessed in Him.

He wants to possess us. He wants to take hold of us. He wants to shape us and mold us and do miracles with us and in us so that sometime, He may see good to lift this strange mystical body of believers. A body that has projected itself down through 2000 years and we are coming in toward the end, but we are also little cells in that body. And someday He wants to take that out of the world, and out of time, and out of the sense relations, and present it to the Ancient of Days, the great desire of His heart. But He desires that He shall have something to present.

Now, I want to say it again. Don't let your heart be deceived into thinking that any experience, I don't care how profound it may be, how very moving it may be, how very revolutionizing that experience may be, there is no experience into which God leads you that will ever mature you. Don't allow yourself to come under the power of an experience, and then live in that and build your life around it. Someday when we are released and taken, you can't come back and make choices and decisions. No. What there is of spiritual value in you and in me, all that we will carry with us into the next age, is what we acquire now.

Don't be disturbed if God is not using you to make a manifestation out here of your life, say as a preacher, teacher, a great evangelist, or some missionary. He doesn't want that from you. He's not expecting it from you. He had one Paul and He had one Wesley. He has one of you and you are the only specific edition of who you are. He is desirous of possessing every last individual that He can find, to accomplish in that individual the thing for which He has brought you into time and sense for.

If He has called you to be a great preacher, then preach. If He has called you to be a good farmer, then be a good farmer. The whole thing swings from this angle that "whosoever will do the will of God" that is all He's asking. If it is to plant potatoes, then plant the potatoes to the Glory of God and sing all the while you are planting them.

We become entangled in the mechanism and forget the objective. Don't lose your objective. Keep it always before you - the Glory of God, the life surrendered. The whole being moved back again to the heart of God. Being disciplined, educated, trained, and conformed. How? By the thousand and one things that God throws into your little pattern. If I am called to be a good plumber - how many know that is a sacred calling on you? What makes it sacred? Plumbing? No! What makes it holy? It is the will of God. Not the plumbing, but the will of God. And if you can do that, then we move on.

None of us have arrived. We're in the process of becoming, and we'll be in that process till the Lord takes us home. God dealt with your sin. He can do that in very short order, but it takes a life time to deal with you and with me.

I've been dealing with all that externality. Now I want to come in here and get a hold of you. That is what makes it difficult. Truth will always disturb you. But it has a two-fold way of disturbing and moving. If you allow it, truth will actually slay you. But it will be the truth that will resurrect you. Do you get your two opposing forces? How we vibrate between them, don't we. What a strange effect it has upon life. He talks about death, but He talks about life. He talks about the slaying, the crucifying, but He talks about the resurrection and the life.

I told you the other day, never divorce Mary and Martha. They both had their vocations; they are sisters in the same family. Let them remain. Whenever Martha gets up in you and hurries around, you know you are agitated. Mary represents the aspiration of the spirit, the ascent, the moving toward God, sense of vision and light.

But listen, all that has to have a field of demonstration. Otherwise you become unbalanced. Never be caught into the most magnificent spiritual revelation of life and truth and deeper probing into that field. Never do that unless you remember what? A descent into plain reality where you live. And as far as God is able, by the spirit, make a demonstration, a tangible result of the thing caught.

When Jesus spoke about us coming into His kingdom, He was not talking about heaven. He didn't call it heaven. He called it a vast realm. What is this realm? All spiritual reality. The same as we have all natural phenomenon in what we call the real of our natural. We have natural laws which govern - the law of gravitation, the law of light, heat, vibration. All of these are natural laws which God has established and placed here for our well being so that we could live a comfortable life. He wants us perfectly practical to discern and yet at the same time say, "This is not my realm. Here is my realm; I live with Him in Spirit."

In the realm of the spirit, I have been making discoveries of truths, principles, laws, methods and facts which are just as real in that realm, but they are abstract and spiritual. Now in that field I made little discoveries. I find how God works; I watch Him work here, then I watch Him work there. I'm reading in the Old Testament and it pops up in one of the Psalms, and I say, "Oh, I know you. I caught you in Matthew and one of these days I'm going to catch you and put you together." And then you do. So you make discoveries. That is all I hope to share with people.

Maybe I'll talk a little bit to you about prayer some morning. I want to show you how prayer is governed by a law, it is a spiritual law. Now don't think we're in psychology or some crazy stuff; we're not. We're in the Word of God. There has never been a psychologist or a psychiatrist as clever and as wonderful as our Lord. He is the greatest one that ever walked the earth. But you see, He keeps it veiled for fear that people will stumble and fall down. But to those that He can trust, He will unveil it to you, if you are able to be trusted with it. Often times He will say, "Do you see how this works, do you get the drift of that, do you see the psychology back in here?" That's wonderful, it has always in there.

I told you the other day, there are a few Christian psychiatrists and they do a very wonderful work. I have a friend who is a real Christian and he is a psychiatrist. He just loves to come to listen to these things that I talk about. The last time he contacted me, he's a doctor of course, a great man, he put his arm around me and he said, "Follette, I have driven 150 miles today to get in on one talk." You know, some places you can't get them a block away. I said, "I appreciate that because you know, it isn't I. I am a very simple creature. But, God has opened truth and I am able to see and discern, and if you are helped by it, Amen." He said, "I'm helped. I come 150 miles to get in this one service. I thought then; think of all the people sitting. What are they getting? Well, dear, you get according to your capacity.

In this field, I've made a few little discoveries and I find how things go. I watch the Word of God and then I watch it in life. I like to be a guinea pig too that He experiments on. Have you ever let yourself be exposed enough for that? To watch how He does things in you. What was the last real contact He had with you in Spirit, not in religion? Would you dare to expose yourself like that to Him? Don't do it unless you are willing, because God may do some very drastic things. But, the Holy Spirit has possession of it and He will hold us and He won't let any harm come to us. He loves us too dearly. He wouldn't wreck us.? Here is God working from that side. Here is the enemy working from his side. How many know there is something in here that works too?

I was reading the word of God and this is what I discovered. It seemed a little strange to me at first, but after I took it to the Lord and said, "Now Lord, you please tell me how this thing goes. I see this, but tell me why it is this way. What's back of this thing?" I was reading in the word and I found Him asking a question in His conversation dealing with some people. I knew all the time that He knew the answer and yet He persisted in asking the question. He knows it very well, then why should He ask the person the question that He knows?

Well I want to tell you about that. There has to be a reason why He does that. He asks the question and He knows all the time the answer and it is a better answer than even they could give. He asks them, they answer, and you will see all the results that come following along. This is a little principle that He works on in the word and in your life.

I have selected here four questions, and this is my message this morning.

I have found four occasions in this word where God asks a question with which He is very familiar in order to provoke an answer. Then from the answer, He works His way out.

Now, this first one is the question He asked Adam after he had sinned and failed the Lord. Do you remember what God had said to Adam? "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

The story is of the testings on the part of God, but the temptation is on the part of the enemy. I'll deal with that question a little later. Never confuse it. The occasion may be one, the incident may be one, but it is your approach. The tree was a single item, without any special moral value at all. How many know the tree is an impersonal thing? But it is the medium that He is going to use and the whole thing will depend upon the approach to the tree and how you interpret it. God planted the tree, not the devil. God planted it, for a specific reason for His testing and His proving. The enemy takes advantage of exactly the same setup, for what? The occasion to defeat and kill and destroy.

When God plants it, it is for an objective point of development, growth and releasing, bringing His personality into being. The enemy says, "I can use that same thing too and I will use it to destroy and kill." So we find in the New Testament, this program; the enemy has come to kill, to destroy and to rob. Of course, that is all he can do. "But I have come to give you life, and that more abundantly." Your negatives and your positives continually clashing over some media here in the center here.

So He says, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." He doesn't say, "You will fall from grace." It is much easier to teach religion where they have something left in the poor old wreck - that he has sort of tumbled over under some terrible condition. But if we breathe on him and shake him, we might sustain him, resuscitate him. You can't. He's dead!

He said, "That in the day thou eatest thou shalt surely die." He didn't say you shall fall from grace. That is why in theology today, they don't like the word "sin" and "die." Very unpopular. But they are scriptural words, they are words God uses.

"Thou shalt die." Did he fall over dead when he partook of the fruit? No, he lived hundreds of years later. Then what died? Didn't judgment fall upon him? Yes. He died spiritually. That is, all spiritual contact with God had been severed through his disobedience and he was left a sub-normal being.

We are made spirit, soul and body. A trinity. In the upper spiritual department of our being is where the Holy Spirit would like to come to rest, and there is where He dwells.

"And in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," - for this life principle, the spirit of life, the spirit of God, will be canceled and you will remain a sub-normal person. It is a horrible thing to think that when we are dealing with intelligent people, beautiful lovely intelligent specimens of humanity, if they have not the Spirit of Christ in them to restore again unto God your trinity, they are under the normal set-up. Why? Because their spiritual life has been canceled.

They have mental life, a psychic life, and they can move out into the realm of our religion, you see. Man is by nature a religious creature. We don't go to the foreign fields to try to make people religious. How many know they are cursed with it. We don't go there to create in them something that will take a hold of religion. They have it and they are taking hold of everything on God's earth from snakes on up. Why? Because of that inner hidden urge for God and life; and light is pushing through all the trash and darkness and nonsense within them saying, "Where is light?"

I worked in the field some. Had a wonderful time in Africa with those natives and God gave me some precious ripe, raw, heathen souls. It was terrific. Some of them had never seen a white man, and God turned me into an Evangelist. How would you like to see an Evangelist? I become an Evangelist every once in awhile. It is very delightful because you have such a lovely access and you see some results.

But you see, when you are a teacher you don't see anything. You just plot it out and say, "God bless it." And you go on. You don't have a report, "So many hundreds saved," or "Seventy two baptized," and "Sixty miracles," and dear Lord I don't know what else. You know how they do it all up. Well, I never get that, I don't want it and I am not out for it. I tell you, it is quite vulgar.

So He says, "That in the day thou eatest thou shalt surely die." What is it that dies? It is that lovely spirit of life, light, truth and reality that actuated Him. I like Augustine's old saying, "The heart was made for God, neither shall it find rest until it rests in Him." Isn't that so? That is the philosophy of our whole Christian thought. If we could only remember that.

We were not designed by God to be all cluttered up in this mess of earth. "Man shall not live by bread alone." That is the same philosophy. No, so He said, "Thou shalt die."

It would be beautiful if there could have been a lovely, noble response on the part of Adam, when he had discovered this terrible condition to which he had found himself in. Wouldn't it have been noble and beautiful of them if they could have returned and said, "Oh God, we did what you told us not to do and we're in an awful condition. Oh, God help us."

That would have been so beautiful, but you see, human nature, when it is down in that crash, has nothing in there to do that. What does it do? It always substitutes a natural fling instead of anything else. What was it? "Let us make a covering of leaves." That is only a human substitute from an earth that has a curse upon it. And so you are going to take from the earth, which is already a cursed thing, the materials and make a covering to come before God. Quite impossible. And so He has to clothe them.

Oh, that wonderful heart of God, the Father Heart. The heart that had created this strange and wonderful being. He had made all creation all about Him in all of its fields and ramifications. The created moved of God had been breathing and moving until in the God head there was the counsel and it said, "Let us make a new creation that is something different. Let us make what we will call man.' We will make him in our own image and likeness."

Not a physical body. He didn't look at His hands and say, "Now stick hands on him." He is talking about a moral and spiritual likeness. The imprint, the impact of a personality which is lined up with God, so that there shall be an intelligent communion and fellowship with Him. And the Spirit of God dwelling in there can take hold of our little, immature, limited aspects of God and do what? Commune with Him. God is Love.

Well, are we all pure love? No. How many of you know we have a love capacity. Yes. God knows He is infinite and He is infinite in all of His knowledge. How many know we have a knowledge capacity too? Yes we do. All of the characteristics there are in us in a very limited fashion. They were made limited in His thought.

Well, now you see that after sin and failure there is a mess. Just a broken down chaotic mess. Don't try to restore it. It can't be restored. There has to be a new birth and a new life and a new being. If you sitting here are the same being that was born a few years ago, there is something radically wrong. God sees you and He sees me, but not as the creature that we were born. He knows that. But He is all the time by faith penetrating through, to see us as new creatures in Christ. Little new creatures with a little life in us, a little vision, a little hope. That is what He sees.

Adam doesn't have the courage to come to God, so He makes these dresses and he hides away behind the trees. It says, "Because he was naked." Now do you mean he got naked and he was scared to see how he was made? Don't be silly! He's not talking about a physical nakedness at all. That is purely the picture lesson. He is talking about a discovery in Adam of what? A terrible failure, a terrible loss, a NAKEDNESS as far as any access to God. Isn't that right?

He was conscious, "Oh, my access to God has been ruined. How can I come to Him? How?" Oh no, he says and it wasn't because he was ashamed of himself. That lovely wonderful thing that God had created for His glory; a thing which He had hoped would sometime evolve and develop, not only carrying the nature of the human being, but the character qualities hidden away would come up under the pressure of trial, testing and proving, and blossom before Him and then finally into glory. But he doesn't see that. Adam, not knowing the objective of God, thoroughly crashes, and so he hides himself away.

Now this is the question - Who takes the initiative to make any discovery? It has to be God. Man would never come back. Some have a different interpretation of that idea. Some think that it is God, in the sense of righteousness and judgment, coming down to meet the first aspect of sin. I don't see it that way at all. "In the day that thou eatest thereof; thou shalt surely die."

How many think Adam had attended several funerals and he knew all about dying? No, he hadn't. Death wasn't even in his vocabulary. He didn't know death, but he just knew it was some terrible thing, which would come as a result of his disobedience and so he hides

Who is it that has to take the initiative? It is always God, the Eternal seeking God. I think it was God, broken-hearted. It seems as if it must have been God saying, "Oh Adam, where art thou? Oh Adam, what have you done?"

I can't imagine God coming out and sternly saying, "Now Adam, where are you. Stand out here and I'm going to judge you and hell will hold you as the first victim." No, let's not get into that stuff. He couldn't do that. I think it is the broken heart of God loving, seeking, hoping. It is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world finding its first place. Isn't it? I think so.

He says, "Adam? Where art thou?" Now, don't leave it in the physical. He got behind a tree and God couldn't see which tree it was and so He said, "Now Adam which tree is you behind?" How many see that terrible stuff? It is horrible to me. I am a realist in all things that I see; deep, lovely, rich spiritual value hidden away all the time behind the scene. "Where art thou?" Now, God knows where he was. He knew which tree he'd been behind. "I was afraid and so I hid away."

"Where art thou?" That to me represents this first question that He is asking. He asks it of every one of us in our experience in God.

This first one I call "position where." "Where art thou?" That's in Genesis 3:9. It is the question which will bring the confession of your position. God can't do very much with us if we are not straightened out on our position. The question is always asked to provoke an answer.

Your answer will be a confession and, on the basis of your confession, a blessing will move. How many get the philosophy of that? That is the way it goes. I will show you that all the way through the word in all the different fields into which we are going to progress and move in God.

This very first one of finding our identification, our relation, and our position in life, when God first approaches us, His first question is, "Where art thou?" Well, what do we answer? We have to answer as Adam. Make the confession of the thing which has brought us to the level, the plane, or the position in which we find ourselves before Him.

And so he answers and makes a confession of it. Upon the basis of that confession, how many of you see, God is able to bring a blessing? What is it? His answer. "All these leaves will never cover you Adam. You own where you are?" "Yes." "And you own how you would try to cover?" "Yes." "Do you see how it is of no avail." "Yes." How many see it, a deep lovely confession of the whole situation?

Then after that He says, "Well come here. I'll show you." And that loving God slays a little animal and takes its skin and covers Adam. How many see that is the first picture of Jesus? That is the first picture of the Lamb slain, the first shedding of blood for the redemption of this man; they form his new position now having answered the question.

Question? That is of God. Why? To provoke an answer. What is the answer? A confession. Why? Because your confession will become the platform upon which God may move once more, restore and bless and do a thousand things for us. How many can see that this morning?

You see, God works from a good solid foundation. He starts with "position" and we have to own up to our position. It is quite difficult sometimes to do that isn't it? We could make all other kinds of confessions, but sometimes just to say, "I'm wrong," that's the hardest one.

Do you know there are people willing to be martyrs and hung up by their thumbs, rather than say, "I was wrong." Yes, that's right. This silly, crazy ego in here, watch out for him. How many know he has a lot of religion too? How many know the devil has religion too? Understands it very well, quotes scripture and everything. He is very pious. It says that at times he comes as an "angel of light."

Well, people don't know that, aren't we funny? I deal with people and I say, "Oh my goodness. You don't seem to know the Lord from the devil." When He wanted to get hold of Job, what did He do? Let the devil loose on him didn't He? He didn't come down to Job and say, "Now dear brother Job, there is something I have to say unto thee, thou art a perfect man, a lovely specimen. A great potential is in you and I want to help you." No, He says, I can only get at you through this means. And He let the devil loose on him.

Name your position, go on and out of that, on that platform, God will come. He'll come on that platform. Not one of you are fixing up. "Oh, let's build a lovely platform now. You pray, I'll pray, we'll all pray." You'll never get Him to come on a platform like that. He is way off in the heavens and we say, "Well where is God? We got a platform all fixed for Him. Now Lord." You've tried to regulate God in the Spirit long enough. Please stop. I said the other day, people are praying for a super moving of the spirit of God, and I say, "Well keep it up there Lord. You know how." I do. You know why? Because flesh doesn't know anything yet and religious flesh especially. God will pour out His spirit in some lovely new beautiful moving, and in six months from now that would be all channeled, named, and labeled. That's the truth, that is the way flesh is. Now you know why I don't get in a lot of things. I can't take it, I'm not geared to it. I don't want to be mixed up with it. Flesh is like that. They can't let God move as He wants to. It has to be cataloged, fixed, programmed, lodged, labeled, fuddled with, and by that time the Holy Ghost is out, and everybody says, "Where is the Lord?" If you live long enough, God is going to get in there, if you are really honest, and He will upset a lot of things. Yes, He will. Some have already found it in their experience and He's not done with any of us.

I remember when I was in seminary, S.D. Gordon used to come over and give us a Sunday school lesson. We were young folks then. They called him the "soft peddle Evangelist" because he was more or less of the Quaker stock and he never raised his voice above a conversational talk. He was as good as those who have raised the roof. We're all built different. Well, I remember one time he came over and they had one of these Sunday school lessons all fixed for him. It disturbed him and he said, "Oh, these Sunday school lessons. I can't get anywhere with this. Let's lay it aside and let me talk." I'll never forget one thing he said. He said, "Always remember boys, when you walk with Jesus, as I want you to walk with Him in your daily walking, He is a divine fellow companion, but He is also a divine disturber." How many get it? He is a divine disturber.

How many know the difference between disturbed through flesh, disturbed through the enemy, and being disturbed by God? Don't get that all confused. There is a disturbance which is purely of the enemy. There is a disturbance as a reaction and result of your own self-life. Then there is the disturbance which God, by His own desire and thoughts, will work in your heart and how many of you know you can't fix it any way you try? You just can't. Why? Because the divine disturber is in there working. Now pray all the prayers you want to and claim all the promises you want to and upset all the promise boxes right there and just claim them. How many know you'll never get anywhere in the wide world. Because the divine disturber is working and you can't buy Him up with any such baloney as that you see. He doesn't work that way.

Now, I'd like to come to another question where the Lord also asks a question and I'm very sure He knows the answer. This person has moved from this position of failure and death, and through his confession he has been lifted up into another level. He is now what we would say, "A saved man." Maybe he's filled with the spirit and has all the gifts. Maybe he's had six or seven miracles, anyway, he's quite plump.

Well now, he's moving off here on a new level, rejoicing in the Lord, and the Lord blesses him like he did Miriam. How many remember Miriam coming out of that Red Sea, singing before the Lord, beating her tambourine and them all dancing before the Lord. In no time after that, she has a nasty, critical spirit that judges Moses and upsets the whole business. The Lord comes down and says, "Miriam, you know how I see you? Like a leper and that's what you are." Wasn't that an awful thing?

Well how many know that thing was in her anyway. "Oh no, the devil came at night when she didn't know it and stuck it on her." No! She carried that right through the Red Sea didn't she? Sure she did. It was a part of her, but she didn't know it. Isn't it good that God doesn't expose all the stuff we're made of at once? My goodness, what a funeral it would be. He doesn't do that, He lets us see a little bit and then he blesses us to death.

Now, this man is coming along you see. He's on a new level, but there is something that he has to learn. He has a new position, but now this is what we call "condition." This little story is in Genesis too. It is a nice story, but as a rule it is quite misinterpreted.

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." Genesis 32:24

Jacob was left alone. Dreadful to be left alone. And he wrestled and fought in prayer with God Almighty until he got the Lord in a corner and God says, "What do you want?"

Now this man doesn't know too much about this business and so he is left alone. In a real crisis, it has to be settled by you alone. You can have the prayers of all the saints, but you have to make your own decision and you have to make your own confession.

Now this man, Jacob. Let us see what he is doing. We will take him as a man who is saved, filled with the spirit, and walking with God. Jacob isn't just a beginner. Look at the experiences he has had with God. But God said, "Jacob, I have somewhat to say unto thee. I can't say it unless you are alone.

I am going to so circumscribe your living and your doing and so manipulate all these externals into which you have become involved and that you are using half the time as an escape mechanism because you don't like your ego to be disturbed. I know that, but I'm going to do it. I'm going to push that all aside because I want to find you and I want you to find Me. I want real contact, but I can't through the mechanism which you are involved in now. In the end, you will find that is a very disconcerting thing. It has certain advantages, but terrifying disadvantages."

So when he is alone and God is after him - now listen to this - don't get this story all mixed up with praying through, by getting a hold of God and wrestling with God until the prayer is answered. Jacob never wrestled with the angel, the angel wrestled with Jacob. It says distinctly, this man, this angel came down and he took the initiative to start the wrestling.

There is a reaction in the wrestling, of course. If God deals with you, how many would sit still like a dumbbell? No you wouldn't. You have to have reactions. That is the way we are made. How many of you have thoughts? Sure you do. That is the way we are made. Don't apologize about it. I am a realist, but I am spiritually minded. I have some moving in God, but it does not make me less a realist and practical.

All right, now let us see what happens. "And Jacob was left." He will leave you alone dear, but don't be scared. He will strip every last thing that you had as a source of inspiration, comfort or solace. He says, "No, I can't deal with you with that." Well you say, you are saved. God is not talking about your salvation and your baptism. Perhaps you have all the gifts. That doesn't get you anywhere in God.

Of course, those are the phenomenal things that belong in the development. He is left alone. Some people can't stand to be alone. This is an age where nobody wants to be alone or still. How many can see the power of the enemy working all the time to bring a confusion. He gets right in a spiritual meeting, he gets right into the heart of a people, so that God should not have contact and access. I have known the devil to start a commotion so that God would not visit. I mean a religious commotion. It was gendered in flesh religiously, but it did the trick. It diverted the whole thing from any moving of God in the Spirit. I know his tactics.

Paul said, "I'm not ignorant of his devices." And after you've lived a few years, you will see it too. You will see through.

And so, here is this man. Now it is not Jacob wrestling with God to make God do something. Get this settled. You have never made God do anything. God has His eternal will and purpose moving. He has been able, sometimes after severe working, to align you up with His will, so that when you prayed, you prayed in the will of God and you got it.

And how many remember how you rejoiced and you thought you had prayed through. Now wait a minute dear. You prayed through? No, God was six months bringing you to a place where He could bring you to pray. How? In the spirit and God prays through you.

"And there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day." This is the angel. There wrestled an angel with him until the breaking of the day. Where did that angel come from? How come there is an angel there?

Let me help you. God has been a long time getting this poor deceiving creature into a place where He can deal with him. He has been occupied with his herds, the cattle, the wives and children which God had given him. Well the Lord says, "Hurry up and get done with that. I want you for a few minutes."

"Well I haven't time now Lord." "Well, I'll give you time, because once you prayed you wanted to know who I am and all about it. I'm taking you at your word. In order to get you, do you know what I am going to do Jacob? I am going to send a special messenger down, an angel, and he is going to grapple with you and work with you until I can get you into the position I want you to be in and nothing in the world can do it but this method."

God sees that temperament in Jacob that nothing less than hell and damnation could get hold of him. Some people are made like that. They just can't listen.

But He says, "I know how to get you. I'll send an angel down and he'll wrestle with you till you do come through. I'm after you, Jacob." "And there wrestled an angel with Jacob." In response, Jacob begins to wrestle too. Naturally, there is a response.

"And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh." Oh brother! "And the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint as he wrestled with him." Don't wait until he has to do a thing like that put your hip joint out of place. Learn the lesson from this, because Paul says, "All things happened as an admonition for us."

Jacob is here this morning. Is Jacob around anywhere? How many of you feel that you are still in the flesh naturally? How many know we're still in flesh, still bound by certain temperamental setups. He knows that too. Now when He comes, learn your lesson from this. Don't wrestle back with Him until He has to put your hip joint out of place.

I've often thought there is no record that God healed him of that. Do you know what I think? I think Jacob is of the temperament that any time he might move back into this mood, do you see, his hip would bother him. Do you get it? That is the souvenir He left him.

How many of you know a souvenir is left so that you remember something? That hip that is out of joint is Jacob's souvenir of wrestling; souvenir of having to face God. You know, he limped ever afterward. Now matter how he got blessed, every once in awhile he would limp. What is that saying? "Stay put Jacob." Paul had a thorn to do it to him. He did, he said so.

And he said, "Let me go for the day breaketh." And Jacob said, "I will not let thee go unless thou bless me." It is nice to persist, but well, "Lord, I need you and this is terrific, but if you don't bless me I'll die and I don't want to die."

So he says, "Now bless me. Bless me." If this angel could have spoken, do you know he would have said, "That is what I have come to do. I've been commissioned from God, the Father to come down and bless you."

He says, "I will not let you go until you bless me." He said, "Do you really want to be blessed? What is thy name?" How many get it? "What is thy name?" Now do you mean this angel had been wrestling all night with a man who he didn't know? No, the angel knew only too well, but I will tell you something. Jacob didn't want to say it. Why?

A name bears your character. Names are always given because of character. Jacob means "deceiver, crooked, liar." Whoever wants to say to the Lord, "My dear Lord God, I'm a wreck?" Would you like that?

So all he says is, "What is thy name?" What is he doing, doesn't he know who he is? He wants Jacob to own up to what he was, that Jacob could look up and say "Jacob." I'm glad to see him crash down there like that.

How many see confession is a platform? Do you get it? "What is thy name?" That is the question. What is the answer? "Jacob". What does that become? A platform and God meets him the very minute that he will own up to what he is.

And he says, "Oh no. Not now." Why he says, "You've prevailed with God." You have prevailed in what God had intended you to do. You've prevailed, you have come through, but I had to bring you through in this drastic way of sending a special minister down. A spirit that would do this strange work in you that you could come to the place where you could say, what is it? Condition.

Now tomorrow, I want to get to two more questions which are asked. I have two in the Old Testament and two in the New. Both of them relate to episodes in our own experience, in our own dealings with God. Now, I do this for our practical living. I want you to learn how to live. How to let the Holy Spirit get a hold of you to live. To remodel, to recast, to do a thousand things in every one of us for the Glory of God.